Adventures in Bolivia, Chapter 9

The Richest Part of the Empire

The Third Attempt, Part 5

Upper Peru, now called Bolivia, was always considered by the Incas as the richest part of the Empire. The Jesuits came to the country some years before the last Inca Chief died, and found and continued to work many of the richest gold and silver mines belonging to the Incas, prospecting and exploring the Andes and the tropical rivers all the time they were in Peru. They thought so much of Upper Peru for its great mineral wealth that they actually plotted a revolution against the Government, their idea being to form a republic of their own in the country that is now Bolivia. It was for this reason that the Government of Lima, on discovering this plot, expelled them from the country.

The Jesuits never worked for long at a mine that was not a good one, and in prospecting for old mines the good can always be told from the bad by the way they have been worked. There are many fabulously wealthy mines which have been lying idle since their times, and up to the present have never been denounced. I personally know of several, gold, silver, copper, lapis lazuli, quicksilver and others. I have a sample of copper out of a lode six feet wide taken from one of these old mines, which gives fifty-nine per cent of copper and is still undenounced. Mining companies, instead of sending men to prospect for new fields, would do well to send and look for some of these abandoned Jesuit mines.

In the provinces of San Juan and Rioja in the Argentine and in Bolivia I have seen many so rich that the lodes are actually in sight and no dump is to be seen. The famous silver mines of Potosi, to which I have already referred, gave in three hundred years a total value of £340,000,000 worth of silver, and is still giving £40 to £50,000 worth a year. The Cerro Potosi is 15,400ft. high, the town 13,200ft., and the atmosphere is so rarified that many children die soon after birth. The Indians in this district eat clay dumplings which they put in their stew. Then there are the silver mines of Muanchaca, 13,200ft. high, which exported 8,000,000 ozs. of silver annually between 1892 and 1897, till the lower workings of the Pulacago mine were flooded with water.

The silver mines of Oruro for years yielded 1,700,000 ozs. a year, Colguechaca 1,500,000, and Guadaloupe, 700,000. The most valuable tin mines are those on the Huanuni near Oruro; there are others at Inquisivi, Tres Cruces (?), Arque, and other places. I discovered one at the Tres Cruces that was afterwards taken up and sold for £19,000. The tin mines of Bolivia are very rich, and the higher altitudes seem to yield a bigger percentage than the lower, and the workings are more accessible. I once located a tin property that gave at 13,000ft. 9 per cent, 15 per cent at 14,000ft., 25 per cent at 15,000ft., and at 16,000ft. as much as 60 per cent, according to samples essayed at Lima. The same thing happens in the case of gold, silver, and copper; the richest mines are often found in the most inaccessible places.

Prospecting for old mines is a rough life, but when your journeys take you along the Cordilleras you are sure of a healthy and enjoyable time in an exhilarating climate. You have bright sunshine all day and freezing cold at night. There is a fair amount of sport to be had on these trips, and it is advisable to take both gun and rifle. For the gun there are geese, duck, martinettes, partridges, woodcock, and snipe; and for the rifle you get jaguar, bear, wild cattle, puma, vicuña, deer, guanaco, and the white-collared condor, the biggest bird that flies. On several occasions when I was far away from any kind of civilization, and there was no habitation in sight so far as the eye could see, vicuñas have remained staring at me, and allowed me to get up quite close to them before galloping off. I remember once suddenly coming across a herd of eleven vicuñas, which stood up in a line not more than fifty to seventy yards off, and remained stationary for quite two minutes; they were wondering I suppose what object it was that suddenly appeared on a big black mule. They looked so graceful that I did not disturb them and never fired at all. I have shot them for their pelts when the Indians have told me the fur is at its best, and on two occasions for meat when we ran short; their flesh is not very nice to eat, but not quite so nasty as llama. I managed also to get three puma on these prospecting trips; one was a pretty good one measuring 7ft. 7ins. when green, another was 7ft. 2ins. and the third 6ft. 7ins.

While on one of these trips to locate silver mines and bring back samples for a German firm, I was travelling one day with fourteen cargo mules, two saddle mules, bell mare and horse, and happened to be riding along with a gun in front about halfway up the forest, with my boy walking behind carrying the rifle, when I heard some poujil. I got off the mule to get a stalking shot, and on turning the corner just round the bend came on a magnificent jaguar, lying down sunning himself on a green bank not twenty yards off. I was much relieved when he got up and trotted quietly away into the jungle. These beasts will never attack a man in daylight unless they are hungry or angry. The natives in the interior of Bolivia near Santa Cruz hunt them with the spear, rifle, and dogs, when they can locate them in the savannas or grass plains, and the Government pay them £2 10s. for each skull, as they are known to be dangerous man-eaters. But they only go after men when they get too old and inactive to catch wild cattle, deer and pigs. It is also said that once they have tasted human blood they prefer it to any other kind of food.

In spite of all the trouble I had taken, I had eventually to give up the search for the treasure on the Caballo Cunco Hill. Neither Solis Mendizabal nor I could get the necessary number of men to continue the work satisfactorily, and we tried several times to form a small company from Chili to go into the work, and also to uncover the many smaller tapadas that still remain intact near the convent and the church, but without success. Colonel Trollope, of Lord’s Castle, Barbados, who was interested in the project and promised me the money to take over fifty men from Barbados in 1912, unfortunately died before this could be done. A well known mining engineer came all the way from Tacna at my suggestion to look at my handiwork, and see whether he thought what was being uncovered was the work of man or nature; I have his report in which he forms the same idea as I do.

Now what has this big cave been dug out of the mountain side for, and why has it been covered over with so much care? Not for any amusement, I am sure. The only thing I know for certain is that José Ampuera found a big gold bell there, sixty years ago, but ceased excavating because one of his sons was killed by a piece of rock. Then there is the case of the two mule men, who uncovered one of the numerous smaller tapadas, and in eight days took out £1,500 worth of treasure. I still have hopes of being able to bring, say, forty men from the West Indies for each dry season, May to September, and finish the job. It might or it might not be a success; who can tell?

Adventures in Bolivia, Chapter 9

The Mining Laws

The Third Attempt, Part 4

Before closing with the Jesuits and their mines and treasure, I will relate three instances of discovered treasure that came to my knowledge. All three finders were personally very well known to me. The first concerned a very rich gold mine in Peru, which we will call the Monte Cristo mine, formerly worked by Jesuits, and abandoned by them when they were expelled from Peru. A captain formerly belonging to an English cavalry regiment was staying at San Francisco a few years ago, and made friends there with a Jesuit Father, who told him he had all the papers relating to the rich Monte Cristo mine, with all directions where to go and how to find it. He said he would hand the captain the papers if he liked, and should he succeed in locating the mine he could denounce it and give the priest ten per cent of the proceeds. The captain gladly accepted on these terms, and eventually found the mine and denounced it.

I must explain here that there are strict rules laid down by all the republics of South America and British Guiana, which have existed for hundreds of years, and which are called the old Spanish Laws of Mines. These rules are meant to prevent mining concessions lying idle, and once ground is applied for, and old mines or new ones denounced, when the concession is granted the mines have to be worked and must not remain idle. Often the owner, who either cannot afford to work the ground or else has no intention of doing so, simply pays up the annual rent to the Government of the country, which is not a very costly thing to do, and then calmly waits for some big Company to come along and give him a good lump sum for doing practically nothing. This happens occasionally, but not very often, as Company owners know the mining laws, and most of them are not in the habit of throwing money away for nothing.

Here are some of these rules:

  1. After a discoverer has denounced a mining property and asked for the concession, a notice shall appear for fifteen days in any newspaper of the district. Should no opposition be made at the end of that time the concession shall be granted.
  2. Forty-two days after the concession has been granted a stone monument at least three feet high, with four corner stones, must be erected, and then possession will be given.
  3. Forty-two days after possession has been given work must be started, two men to be employed to each hectare applied for.
  4. If the discoverer does not comply with these conditions the mine may be re-denounced by anybody, and the original discoverer loses all right to the ground.
  5. Anyone re-denouncing the claim must, after notifying the Minister of Mines or his agent, put an advertisement in any paper published and sold in the district, calling on the original owner to comply with the law within fifteen days, and also paste up a copy in the District Court House. If he does this, and the owner of the claim does not comply with the law and gives no satisfactory reason for his delay to work his mine according to law within the said time of fifteen days, he loses all right, and the mine is then transferred to the re-denouncer.

Two years after the captain had denounced the rich old Jesuit mine, Monte Cristo, he returned ready to start work and re-develop the property, but on arriving there he was disagreeably surprised to find work going on in full swing. He was told by the manager that his discovery had been re-denounced by Don Fulano six months after he left, under the Mining Laws No. 3 and No. 4 quoted above, and as neither he nor his authorized representative had answered the notice as per Rule No. 5 quoted, after fifteen days it was made over to him, and he worked it with a considerable number of men for eight months, and then sold it to a company for £72,000. The manager said the Company gave him a salary of £1,200 a year. He told the captain it was very hard lines on him, but it showed how fatal it was to denounce a rich discovery and apply for a concession, until he was certain of being able to comply with the mining laws. The captain was so disappointed and grieved at his loss that he immediately went on a shooting trip into the forest, where he got malarial fever and died.

A similar thing happened to me once. One year I bought two good saddle mules, hired some cargo animals, two men and a boy, and went shooting guanacos, and vicuñas, and looking for old mines in the Cordilleras. I was away for four months, and during this time I came across a good many Indians who lived there with their sheep and llamas far away from any town, and in some cases miles from the nearest neighbour, and they showed me many old gold and silver mines and one copper mine. I made a note of them all, and took samples from each one. On returning to civilization, I denounced one, not the best, but a good mine, paid the dues, and exactly a year afterwards forfeited the property through not complying with the law respecting labour. The man who re-denounced it put on forty men for six months, and sold it to a Company for £7,000. Personally I think the mining law respecting the proper working of concessions a very good one and most fair. You should always be careful not to denounce unless you know you are going to derive benefit by doing so. There are many people who are quite ready to reap the profits of any rich find, but who would never dream of taking the trouble, and going through the rough preliminary work of finding them.

The second instance I am going to relate refers to a great silver mine in Bolivia, which we will call San Carlos, and which was worked by the Jesuits and subsequently lost sight of for many years when they left Peru. In this case there were two partners concerned, both of whom I know personally; the one was a rich man who found all the money for expenses, and the other a well known mining engineer, who did the rough part of the work, and went to locate the lost mine. After two years among the Indians they showed him the place, and he was guided there by two Indian girls. The mine was opened out and proved to be so rich in silver that in a few years the two men were worth half a million sterling and over. This mine is still in work, and still belongs to the finders, whom we will call Don Alfredo and Don Jorge. Don Jorge died, and left his share to his eldest son, who has extensive properties at home and in Bolivia, is a good sportsman, and divides his time between England and Bolivia and Chili. The other partner is still alive and enjoys the income derived from his half share. Many workmen are employed on this property, and much expensive machinery has been erected. In this case no one received any benefit except the discoverers.

The third case was that of a gentleman whom we will call Mr. Clarke from San Francisco. He got hold of some documents relating to an old Jesuit mine, which we will call San Martin, and which they had worked till they left Peru. There were a lot of silver bars ready for shipment, supposed to be buried in this mine, and he started off with the documents to locate the place. He found nothing but a big high hill; the place to all appearances had been covered over by a slide of earth and stones caused by the earthquake shocks of 1842 and 1867. However, he began the work of uncovering this big mound, with the help of two men and a boy. Clarke had a few thousand pounds to start with, and after working away for fourteen years with a few men, never more than five and sometimes not so many, and being convinced he was on the right spot, he went to the States to see his brother, who had done pretty well with his horses in South America, and try and persuade him to help. His brother, however, did not believe in this old mine hunt and refused to stand in. But Clarke found another man, a manager of a big store, who thought he was on the spot right enough, and offered him £40 a month of his £60 monthly pay, to enable him to employ more labour. In two years’ time he removed the big mound of hill and found the mine. Six months afterwards the bank shipped on Clarke’s account silver bars worth £400,000. He gave his friend £3,000 in cash, and £1,500 a year for life, and continued the working of the mine, which proved a valuable one, making his friend manager with an additional salary of £1,500 a year. Clarke died in London a few years ago, leaving £2,000,000.

Adventures in Bolivia, Chapter 9

King of the Condors

The Third Attempt, Part 3

One day while walking up the long steep path to work, I was stung on the back of the neck by a big black ant, called tucanderos. The sting was very painful, and swelled up as big as a walnut, but I cured myself by hot fomentations, and the application of young castor oil leaves, which grew everywhere about. The ants measure an inch or more; the males are black, and the females brown; they are fortunately not common.

On one part of the Treasure Hill just where the big egg-shaped stone blasted out, there were also dozens of big scorpions, of which I preserved a few. No one was stung by them. A few days after Mendizabal left, one of his mountain Indians, who came down with a sheep, eggs, butter and other provisions, told me that there was a Condor Real (King of the Condors) which lived up the mountains near his shepherd’s hut.

He said there were several common condors with the Condor Real, which was much bigger than any condor he had ever seen before. This man had lived all his life in the high Andes, and was, therefore, competent to judge.

It will be interesting here to quote what Baron von Humboldt says about these birds in his book Earth and Sea:

The condors of the Cordilleras are the biggest birds that fly. They are black with a white collar; the females are just as large, but are a coffee colour brown and have no collar. They live at a height of fourteen to sixteen thousand feet and measure anything from tip to tip from 7ft. to 14 ft. The Condor Real or King of the Condors is a pure white bird, and measures as much as twenty to twenty-five feet from tip to tip. In the whole range of the Andes, I do not think twenty-five exist.

I arranged to go to the home of the Indian the following week, and he agreed to sell me a llama for 28/-, which we would kill and leave near the place where he had seen the big bird, and then I would try to get him with a rifle. I gave him a note to Mendizabal, telling him about it, and asking whether I might go to his shepherd’s hut in eight days. He readily gave me permission, and very kindly sent down his favourite Arab grey to bring me up to his place, so that my saddle mule could be kept for the mountain climb. He also said he would come with me both for the sport, and also to see his sheep feeding in the mountains.

Six days later I left on Mendizabal’s horse, starting after breakfast at 7 a.m. It was nine leagues to Cuti, and all uphill. At about 7 p.m., when it was just dark, and the stars were out, but not the moon, I got off my horse to walk down a few yards for a drink of water, and not taking sufficient care and notice of the path I stepped over the side, and slid right down the steep bank, dragging the horse with me, till I fell up against a big rock with the horse against me. I helped him to slue round, and scramble up again, and, by hanging on to his tail, I got dragged up again. I found that I had hurt my back and side so much that I could not mount, and I had to sit there in my white tropical clothes, with my big poncho over me, for the whole night. In the morning, at daylight, an Indian came along, and, with his help, I mounted and rode the three miles down to Mendizabal’s place. This piece of stupidity kept me on my back for four weeks, and the worst of it was that I had to give up the Condor Real, and it was six months before I could do without plaster or bandage. Three weeks previously a man fell over this same spot, and when picked up dead his body was in a pulp.

While I am on the subject of the Condor Real I will relate what I was told by C. Franc, whom I met with his wife and sister at Jura. His father who was a very good shot, and extremely fond of sport in the Andes, heard from the mountain Indians that there was a big white bird far larger than any condor living in the mountains, at the back of Inquisivi near some old abandoned mines. There were several white-necked condors guarding the King of the Condors, and bringing him food. No house was near and nobody was working there. The father, who had a fine collection of birds in his house in Italy, knew at once that this bird was a specimen of the Condor Real. He got two of the men to accompany him and his mule men, and started off with provisions for a fortnight. They camped near some of the abandoned mines, killed two llamas they had brought for the purpose, and abandoned the carcasses about half a mile from his camp. The next day the white-necked condors began to fly down and circle round the dead llamas. His father and the men remained watching, quietly, in the camp, and on the third day the big white bird was seen feasting on one of the dead llamas, with some of the other condors sitting at a distance, and others hovering overhead. He started, very carefully, to stalk the white bird, so as to get a sure shot, but, when he got a little less than three hundred yards away, the big bird looked as though it were disturbed, and fearing he might miss his chance he fired, sighting the Winchester at three hundred yards, and was lucky enough to kill the bird stone dead. But as soon as the other birds saw what had happened to their King they began to circle round over him, making angry noises and flapping their wings, so fiercely that, though he saw the big white bird lying still, he was afraid to go nearer, and thought it prudent to return to the shelter of his camp in the mines. The condors came flying round his camp, flapping their wings angrily against the entrance of the mines. All that afternoon and the whole of the next day, the condors kept flying about the mine close to the entrance, flapping their wings and shrieking. On the third day everything seemed quiet, and they ventured out again, only to find that all the white-necked condors had gone, and the big white bird had disappeared too. He said there was no doubt that the condors had carried away their King. This was in July, 1903, and the next year he made a special trip out from home to try and locate the bird again, but was unsuccessful. A Condor Real is worth a good sum, I should say about £500 or more.

Adventures in Bolivia, Chapter 9

The Loathsome Verni Fly

The Third Attempt, Part 2

Three days after our big jaguar hunt and two days after Mendizabal and his men had left, an Indian came to the camp early in the afternoon to tell me he had seen what he called a black tiger. He said that the beast was well known to the Indians for leagues round; it was very savage and as large as a big donkey, and killed cattle and mules frequently. They were afraid it would take to killing people. I thought the size was exaggerated, and in fact I took it to be an unusually large black puma. As the native told me he had seen it cross the path in the forest about two leagues from the river on the other side and nearly opposite my camp, I hoped to be lucky enough to get a shot at it, so I crossed the river on my good little white mule, and walked about or sat on logs of wood on the banks. About 6 p.m. I was rewarded by seeing the beast. He crossed the path in the forest, walking slowly about two hundred yards up the hill. I took my father’s good double barrel sixteen bore rifle by Holland and Holland, put the sight at three hundred yards, fired, and missed him; the bullet appeared to strike the ground just about a yard or two exactly below him. The Indian had not exaggerated; he was no black puma, he was a black jaguar and seemed to be as large as the one I got on the banks of the Challana River, which was 9ft. 2ins. long. He was black and looked in splendid condition, and I thought what a pity it was that Mendizabal and his son Juan were not with me, as if we had all of us taken a shot at him one bullet would have hit him. Anyhow, I am sorry to say I was duffer enough to miss this beautiful and rare specimen and never had the luck to see him again. The next morning after my bathe in the river, I took my gun with me and strolled along a small stream that runs into the big river, to have some pot shots at the parrots as they settled on a big wild cotton tree. This tree was a very favourite one for birds of all sorts to alight on, and nearly every morning and evening you could be pretty sure to get either parrots or bush chickens for a savoury stew. Before I got to the big cotton tree, I saw a young bull calf standing in the stream, about a year and four or five months old I should say, fat, and in nice condition. He was standing on three legs and easing his near fore. On closer examination I found that he had been wounded in that limb, so I thought to myself somebody has been after the wild cattle, never thinking for a moment it could have any connection with our late cattle hunt. I returned at once to the camp and brought Manuel with a lasso, which we threw over his neck. With the help of four Indians we dragged the calf ashore and after killing and skinning we found that one of my bullets had penetrated the flesh, injured the bone, and lodged in his leg. The only way I can account for it is this. When we were shooting wild cattle five days before, one of the three that fell to my rifle was a big fat cow, I aimed behind the left shoulder and hit her just above the root of the tail, breaking the bone. We went up and killed the cow with a shot in the head behind the ear. There were seven or eight head of cattle stampeding in a body quite close to us, and as they passed I aimed at the big cow with the result described, and the bullet must have glanced off the cow, and lodged in the shoulder of the year and half old calf. So I had killed two head of wild cattle with one shot, which does not occur very often, I should say. The wild cattle live all through the forest round hereabouts; you can see their fresh dung in different Indian paths every now and again. There is very little grass about and yet the cattle are all in good fat condition; the natives say they eat leaves from the various trees and guavas. My mules got very thin on being turned into the forest to cater for themselves, and the only thing they seemed to go for was the wild guava. When I found they were losing condition I sent Manuel’s son José up the mountains on part of Mendizabal’s estate to cure the mules and graze them, leaving only my white saddle mule and one of the donkeys in camp, with plenty of barley in bundles for them. Another reason for sending them up the mountain was that the dun-coloured mule had been bitten by a vampire bat three weeks before. I healed it up and washed it every day, morning and night, with lysol and water and plugged it up with a little cotton wool dipped in balsam, sprinkling the withers over with a powder of iodoform and zinc mixed, to keep off the loathsome Verni fly.

Adventures in Bolivia, Chapter 9

Hunting a Jaguar

The Third Attempt, Part 1

Early in April 1907, when I had recovered from the poison, I returned to Oruro, getting there in time for the great Indian Market at Juare. I bought five fresh cargo mules at the market, and engaged a man, his son, wife and daughter to cook for me and look after the camp as far as Cochabamba. The women rode on two donkeys. At Cochabamba I discharged them, and picked up Manuel’s son and another man to look after the mules and horse, and his daughter to cook and look after the camp on the way, and arrived at Mendizabal’s place at Cuti on May 4th.

Mendizabal had bad news, old José Maria Ampuera was dead. He had gone down one day with a sheep for the two caretakers at Sacambaja, who signalled to him not to cross the river, as it was too high. He insisted, and in mid-stream his horse lost its footing, and was taken off its legs by the current, but managed to get ashore with the old man on his side of the river. He rode back to his home, got fever that night and died of the effects a few days after. He was 110 years old, according to his own reckoning, but Mendizabal said he was probably older. He was a little deaf, but, otherwise, had all his faculties about him; all his teeth were in good order, and he had never been to a dentist in his life; he could eat ship’s biscuits without soaking them, and take a tot of rum without showing it. He used often to ride down from Cuti with a sheep for me, and go down the river next day another nine leagues to get bananas, oranges, pines and other things. But for this accident he would probably have lived some years longer.

Mendizabal’s Indians now begged him not to ask them to go down and work at the Caballo Cunco Hill. They said it was so unhealthy that many would die, and if they were to die they preferred to die in their own homes. Three of the eight men that had worked there last year had died, and the dead nigger hill was exactly opposite. They told him they would go anywhere else for him, or his English friend, but implored him not to ask them to work down there. However, I went down with Manuel and his family and all the gear, and Manuel and I went up the hill and worked alone most days, while his wife and daughter attended to the camp, and the boys stayed with the mules. The weather was perfect, eighty-two degrees at 1 p.m., and seventy degrees at 8 p.m., and I sent Manuel up to tell Mendizabal, who soon came down with the priest and his two head men. They stayed a week cattle hunting, and tried their best to convince the Indians that last year was a phenomenal year, and probably we should not have one like it for a long time; but it was no use, they could not be persuaded. Mendizabal then decided to send a letter to his friend Solis at Palca, who owned a big estancia, some leagues from there with over a hundred families of colonias. In the meantime, there was nothing to do, but wait.

I often tried to find one of those bears with a tail that Mendizabal said existed here. Several times I saw the track of what he said were tree bear, but I never even saw one.

On 4th June Mendizabal sent me down a note, saying there were jaguars (or tigers as he called them) about again; that the night before they had killed three mules and a colt, four miles further down the river from where I was, and that they had laid down poison.

Three days later he wrote again that the poison was no good; they never touched the carcasses again, but killed another of his mules and four of the Indians’ llamas. He said he had laid down more poison.

Next day came another note saying that they never touched the poison, but had gone further up my way, that there were several, and the tracks showed big footprints, and smaller ones which looked like two lots. He promised to come up next week and get up a hunt.

A few days later the cattle came out of the forest, and remained about the beach, showing that jaguars or pumas were disturbing them, and soon an Indian came from down the river, and told me that if I came with him for a mile or so along the beach he would show me the track of several pumas. I went along, and he pointed them out, but I told him I thought the pads looked too big for the pumas, and were more like jaguars, the larger ones anyway. That evening about nine o’clock, we heard animals moving in the bush, on the other side of the stream. Manuel looked carefully out, and saw what he thought was a big jaguar gazing over at the fires; he pointed it out to me, and soon after it moved off. I got the rifle and sat near the kitchen fire, but I did not see anything again. In the morning we found several tracks on the edge of the forest on the beach, only thirty yards from the fires. They were spoor of jaguars right enough, there had been at least two of them. In the morning the cattle were still on the beach, showing that jaguars were still about, and in the afternoon Mendizabal, his son, and ten of his men arrived with several dogs, and pitched his tent near mine. He had poisoned the dead animals, but the jaguars had left them entirely alone, whether by instinct, or because they were not hungry, I do not know. That night at about 10, when we were just thinking of turning in, and were sitting with our rifles by the fire watching the edge of the forest, on chance of anything appearing, a big fellow showed himself about seventy yards off. We could make out the form, but not the colour as, although the night was clear and the moon bright, he was in the shadow on the outside of the forest. I had a shot at the body of the beast, and he turned round sharply, and entered the bush again. We both thought he was hit with the ounce ball, and in the morning we found marks of blood in his track. Quite near the place where we saw the jaguar, we came across the dead body of a big black cow, which had been killed and partly eaten by the beasts. We cut her up, and appropriated all the meat, deciding that it was of no use to poison it, as experience had shown that the jaguars would not return to poisoned meat. The Indians then followed up the spoor of the wounded jaguar, and we told them to be careful, and return if they saw that he had gone into the thick of the forest. They came back and said that he had gone into the forest, and must have been badly hit. In the afternoon the Indians and the dogs went along a path at the edge of the forest, which the wounded animal had made for last night, while Mendizabal and I waited about a mile further down in an open spot, the other side of an arm of the Sacambaja. Nothing came out and soon the jaguar was found dead by the Indians. It was a well marked male, in very good condition, and measured 7ft. 11ins. when skinned. A week afterwards the Indians found another jaguar, a female, that had been shot by some one else, and brought me the skin. It was smaller than the other, but a better colour, and measured 7ft. 7ins. I have still got both of these skins. Next day Mendizabal and his men left.